The First Few Days

Every day starts with a 10 minute walk to the office. Stationsweg to Wagenstraat to Spuistraat and then to Passage 31. The route follows brick sidewalks over one of the many canals, through The Hague’s small Chinatown, and then onto the marble floor of the semi-covered mall where the office is located. It is a north-south journey, so the sun is never directly overhead. Instead, it shines through the alleys and side streets along the way, glinting of the metal frames of the many bicycles that whiz past the ambling pedestrians. 

The office is on the top floor. It boasts views of the old city center and a cathedral of a still undiscovered name. The office is just down the street from the Binnehof, home of the Dutch parliament.  Part castle and part modern plate glass masterpiece, the Binnehof's odd, shiny angles never become boring to look at, like a house designed by Frank Lloyd Wright.  

There are six permanent employees at the office, but somebody is usually away at one of the field offices around the world. Thus, one desk is nearly always available for use by an intern. The first couple days involved a series of orientations and office meetings, the most satisfying of which involved getting an IDEA email account. There is something about an email account that marks you as official, one of those intangible things that helps with the transition to a office and leads to a satisfying, "I have arrived!" feeling.

While the office is small, it is always busy. Not an hour goes by without a Skype conversation, meeting, or phone call. The free coffee and espresso, in addition to the interesting work, surely help keep employees so active and motivated every day.

Only two more days until the first weekend, a much anticipated two day binge of art, historic buildings, and other such touristy things.